Strengths: Purchased July 2012 brand new; cost $1,028 from Bikeworks.com
I wanted write this review after having ridden the bike at least 1 to 2 months, at this point it has been 5 months. Some cyclists write a review after riding the bike one time or just a week. From my experience, it takes several months before you begin to see any problems or understand its advantages. Major note *** As on any recumbent, a mirror is a requirement (you can ride without one, Low speed performance, excellent. High speed performance, not too bad, the handle bars are stable enough.
It helps to understand my riding conditions in order for you to be able to compare my experience with the kind of riding you will be doing. I have a 25 mile round trip commute on completely level ground in Orlando, FL. Approximately 4 of those miles (each way) is on a bike trail, 30% on sidewalk, and the rest ~ 40% on the road. I ride bike trails once a month or so and about once per week with my wife around the neighborhood.
Previous biking experience and comparing this bike to those
Giant Boulder SE mountain bike (2001-2007)
Cruzbike V2 (2008-2010) – my review http://www.diegoscruzbike.0catch.com/
Sun EZ-1 (2009-present; wife’s bike but I ride it on and off) – my review http://www.diegoscruzbike.0catch.com/Sun%20EZ-1%20review.html
Bacchetta Giro 26 (2010-2012)
Weaknesses: VERY heavy bike and long so repositioning or getting around a tight corner can be an issue.
After riding the bikes above, I thought I had found the perfect bike when I got the Giro 26. But two things continued to give me trouble and the influence of my wife’s Sun EZ-1 made me realize that I should sell my Giro and try the EZ-Sport. The two main issues I had with the Giro 26 were numb feet and the difficulty when starting the bike from a stopped condition. I also wasn’t seeing a huge speed increase in my biking with the Giro 26 over the Cruzbike or even my wife’s EZ-1. After every 5-6 miles, I had to lower my feet to get the numbness out of them. At stop lights or other times when I stopped, getting the bike going and having the front wheel oscillate while on the street in traffic wasn’t comforting. I also noticed that I have not updated my Cruzbike and Giro 26 reviews. Clearly I found the issues with those bikes bad enough that I sold each of them and have moved on to this bike.
FIRST COMMUTE: To and from work on August 6, 2012. In short, I hated it for two reasons. 1) The bike seat is HORRIBLE!! It is super hard and I can’t believe it is going to “soften” as the guy said at the bike shop. Having used other recumbent saddles and NEVER having a problem with any of them, I was very disheartened and disappointed with this saddle. The seat was so hard it reminded me of the Trek Navigator 100 that my wife used to own. I began to feel chaffing at around the 20 mile mark. My butt cheeks got numb and so too the back of my legs. I tried 3 times to adjust the seat on the way home to alleviate the problem with no success. I went online to check on replacing the seat with a Sun EZ-1 seat, which costs around $50. After spending over $1,000 on the bike, I really don’t like spending any more on something that should have never been an issue. 2) The front sprocket gear shift handle had problems going back to the center sprocket. I could barely get it back to 2 from 1 and I don’t think it will move to 3 at all. I am going to take it back to the bike shop today and have them tune that – while I am there I will inquire about another seat. Other than that, it rides faster than the EZ-1 and the bumps aren’t felt as much because of the length and tire sizes of the bike (when compared to the EZ-1). It is pretty much what I expected except for that seat issue. I took the bike back to the bike shop and they adjusted the gears and they work fine now. The bike shop ordered another bike seat for me and will replace it, free of charge. They will order the one identical to the EZ-1 saddle, I hope that takes care of the problem – I pick up my bike in 2 days.
I picked up the bike two days ago and the seat is MUCH improved – now it feels like the EZ-1 that I have been riding. The ride was once again enjoyable. I still feel I need to adjust the handle bars and the seat, but I think with enough tinkering on the position, I will be able to find the sweet spot.
Low Speed Performance
As far as recumbents go, a long wheel base bike is the easiest type to start from a stopped condition. The Cruzbike and Giro 26 were somewhat difficult to start because any crank that is high makes you feel like you are falling backwards and it usually required the application of the hand brake to stay still. By contrast, the EZ Sport starts going very easily (even on an incline). It is easy to put your feet down as you slow and to put them up once you get going. At slow speeds of 2-3 mph the bike is still pretty controllable.
Medium/High Speed Performance
No real surprises here, it is faster than the Sun EZ-1 but slightly slower than the Giro 26, but I find the bike more controllable than the 26. This is especially important to me when I cross and intersection and I need to make a sharp turn to get onto a sidewalk. The larger tires also make the ride a lot smoother. Knowing my commute quite well, I know when I’m coming up on some major bumps. It goes over them a whole lot easier than the EZ-1, which is to be expected because of the larger tires.
I was surprised that the seat was as hard as it was, by far the hardest that I have had on a recumbent. The bike shop worker told me it would soften with time. I have already mentioned my terrible experience on my first commute to work. The seat and handle bars are easily adjusted and it isn’t much different than the EZ-1. I hope no one else has the hard seat issue I had.
Even though the seat has quick releases, you still require and Allen wrench tool in order to adjust the seat incline (most bikes have pins) and handlebars (this is always the case on other bikes). Pins on the Giro 26 tended to come loose and I had to use tape or even my bungee chord to keep them in. So having these bolts to keep the seat from moving and keeping the bolts in, I find a better approach. The wheel quick releases are always nice. Shifting was not as smooth as I thought it was going to be, so bad that I had to take it back to the shop for a serious adjustment. Again, these are issues I never had with any of my other bikes – EVER. Braking was good from the beginning and still is. A word back to the gears and shifters; the gears are somewhat noisy – they also tend to change ABRUPTLY in the middle region. This didn’t happen with any of the other bikes. At first I thought that maybe it was shifting two gears but after shifting slowly and as smoothly with my hand as possible, it is still the same. After returning the bike for tuning however, the gears now shift evenly and smoothly. I have not had any more gear issues – the bike is still a bit “noisy” but I think it is normal for this bike.
Overall, the bike does what it is meant to do – get me to and from work in comfort. It isn’t especially fast but that has a lot to do with it being a much heavier bike. The length can be an issue if you are trying to reposition the bike or get around a tight corner. I think it is stupid for a bike not to have a bike stand, but a “trick” I learned on another blog is to use a bungee cord around the handle bars and around the seat, that keeps the handle bar straight and it can be leaned against anything without worrying that the bike is going to fall over. If you are looking for a fast bike – this one is not for you. But if you want to get rid of numb feet, an enjoyable ride, a responsive bike, then this is the bike for you. I still wish it wasn’t so heavy, but if that is my only true “major” issue, then I’ll take it.
a Recreational Rider
from Victoria BC Canada
Date Reviewed: December 24, 2002
Strengths: Designed by Gardner Martin.
It's sexy retro styling.
Selection of stock components.
Easy on -- easy off.
Seat and cool mesh back.
Weaknesses: It's a tad heavy, but you'd hardly notice it.
The only real weakness on this bike is the stem shims. On early models, it was relatively easy to rotate the handle bars, no matter how tightly the stem bolt was cinched up. I understand that they have since modified the shims so that this has been rectified.
Riding my Trek 520 with my bad hip and leg was a painful experience for the most part. However, I heard many times that a bent may cure this affliction, and make cycling a more pleasurable experience. I chose the EZ Sport primarily because of it's heritage -- designed by Easy Racers Gordon Martin, and I really liked it's retro styling. I loved this bike from the first time I sat on the seat. It was easy to enter and get off of. Easy to ride, maneuverable, and surprisingly stable. I intend to use this bike as a tourer.
Similar Products Used: I've only ridden wedgies in the past, most recent being a Trek 520.
Bike Setup: I have made some mods to this bike;
Race Face BB, 20/32/44 rings, and cranks.
11-34 9spd cassette.
XT Rapid fire shifters.
XT Brake Levers.
SRAM PC99 chain
Jandd Expedition rear rack
Modified EZ Sport rear rack mounted to front.
Arkel GT 30 panniers.
Topeak trunk bag.
Arkel handlebar bag.
a Recreational Rider
from Spencer, IA, USA
Date Reviewed: December 1, 2002
Strengths: High pressure tires give this bike a lively feel and low rolling resitance
I found the adjustable angle of the ventilated back to be a nice touch.
Weaknesses: I found that the handle bar may require attention. In the short time I've been riding this bike, the handle bars will move out of a setup position.
This LWB is more difficult to haul than a CLWB (BikeE).
This recumbent has a little more weight.
This bike is on target for my needs.
It has an open feel and your knees will have plently of room to keep the stroke going. It has a low step over for ease in mounting the bike. The shifting components functioned well as did the brakes. This bike has appeal for both new and experienced recumbent riders. It is a LWB machine (62 inches (axle to axle) and therefore will require more room at the corners. It is not a high performace recumbent, but it stable even at low speeds. So the appeal will probably be low for high speed players.